What is Victorian style?
Named after Queen Victoria, the Victorian era spans from the 1860s through to the early 1900s. The era was known for opulence, ornamentation and bold colours. Think heavy drapes, elaborate tapestries and oriental rugs.
Whilst the traditional Victorian aesthetic can feel a little over the top for some, the classic and romantic elements can still be elegantly incorporated. The key is carefully fusing period features like traditional Victorian tiles with contemporary styling.
Being a high quality material, tiles were commonly used in the Victorian era and lined verandahs, hallways, bathrooms and common areas.
The Victorian era is known for vibrant colours - aqua, green, pink and yellow are example colours that were heavily used.
What’s interesting is that oftentimes homeowners would paint each room in a different colour, adding to the grandeur of the home.
Victorian colour palette
If the decorative accents of the space are coloured, infusing these same colours within the tile pattern makes for a harmonious finish. For example, in the below image you’ll notice that the green wall colour has been inverted into the floor tile pattern.
If on the other hand the space is minimal in colour or your taste veers more on the modern side, opt for patterns in white, black and grey.
Victorian floor tiles
Geometric floor tiles were commonly used during the late 1880s and are still a great way to restore Victorian charm to a contemporary styled home - be it on a verandah, kitchen, hallway or bathroom floor. Fully vitrified tiles were the material of favour due to their very low porosity and in turn durability. Read more about the benefits of vitrification
Simple & classic
The classic checkerboard pattern in black and white is still popular today, as are other simple and elegant patterns, including:
Lively & Elegant
If you want slightly more intricate geometry in your pattern, we recommend the below patterns:
Bold & charming
Bold patterns with highly intricate geometry and dazzling encaustics work in larger spaces and when the intention is for the floor to be the focal point.
Victorian encaustic tiles
Thanks to a renewed interest in Gothic decoration in the early 19th century, encaustics were often used within the design of a pattern during the Victorian era. They were commonly multi coloured, as opposed to single coloured encaustics used in the Federation era.
More recently it’s become common to create a feature floor using continuous encaustics, the Lille patterned encaustics in the below bathroom as an example.
Cement vs Pressed encaustics
There is currently a strong trend towards cement encaustic tiles in the market. Cement encaustic tiles involve mixing a coloured pigment liquid into a cement base and then pressing into a mould. The tiles are then left to cure (but not fired). Whilst this process is cheap, it results in a tile that is extremely porous and requires sealing - especially if used in wet environments.
The pressed encaustic, on the other hand involves mixing a combination of raw materials and coloured sediments, which is then hydraulically pressed into a mould at incredibly high pressures. The tile then undergoes intense firing. This results in a far stronger, denser, long-lasting and fully vitrified porcelain tile that is completely water resistant. All encaustic tiles at Olde English Tiles are pressed.
Tiles with old world charm
If you want a less traditional Victorian look and more old world charm, we recommend a floor covered in small or large hexagon tiles.
Large hexagon tiles
The combination of grey, white and black hexagons in the below bathroom add character to an otherwise minimal fitout.
Small hexagon tiles
Whilst small hexagon tiles were more prominent in the Art Deco era, it's not to say they can't be used in a Victorian bathroom or on a kitchen splashback.
Victorian wall tiles
A classic subway wall tile will compliment an intricate Victorian floor and is a popular choice for kitchen splashbacks and bathroom walls.
Decorative trims and feature tiles were heavily used during the Victorian era. Pair with a classic white, black or grey subway tile for a contemprary look with a hint of Victorian charm.
Capping is a nice way to frame a wall in a Victorian home, especially in bathrooms.
Victorian Design Inspiration
Here are a selection of stylish Victorian bathrooms, kitchens, hallways and paths that have expertly combined period features with contemporary styling.
Victorian bathroom inspiration
The glam feel of the below bathrooms are accentuated by traditional Victorian patterns
Victorian kitchen and living inspiration
Beautiful tessellated tiles work across a number of rooms from the kitchen to the hallway and living room.
Verandah & Path
The below pathways illustrate the magical effect of inverting a colour scheme into a tessellated tile pattern
Choose tiles for your Victorian project
Want help choosing tiles for your Victorian home or commercial project? Not sure where to start? Reach out to one of our design experts to help today.